Risk of Osteoporosis after Menopause

Risk of Osteoporosis after Menopause
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What is Menopause ?

Menopause is a natural phenomena that occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 in every women’s life, in which there is a natural decline in reproductive hormones. After menopause woman’s ovaries stop producing reproductive hormones and menstrual periods stop.

What is Osteoporosis?

The word osteoporosis means spongy (porous) bone. It is a medical condition in which the bones become weak, brittle, and fragile due to low bone density typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.

How are they both related?

Menopause is the most common cause of osteoporosis. Bone mass is an important concern for women in the menopause journey.
It is observed that, on average, women lose up to 10 percent of their bone mass in the postmenopausal stage, which can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. Research indicates that approximately 1 in 10 women over the age of 60 are affected by osteoporosis worldwide. Women reach peak bone mass around the age of 25 to 30 years when the skeleton has stopped growing and bones are at their strongest and highest bone density.
The female hormone, oestrogen, plays an important role in maintaining bone strength. Oestrogen levels drop around the time of menopause, which occurs at an average age of 50 years, resulting in increased bone loss. If peak bone mass before menopause is less than ideal, any bone loss that occurs around menopause may result in osteoporosis.

Changes (endocrinal) during menopause —

Menopause is a natural physiological phenomenon resulting from many hormonal changes. The level of oestrogen — the main female hormone — in the female body rises and falls unevenly during perimenopause, which results in lengthening or shortening of menstrual cycles, and may begin having menstrual cycles in which ovaries don’t release an egg (ovulate). The onset of menopause features decreasing levels of oestradiol, as well as increasing production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). During the menopausal transition period, women will experience a number of noticeable symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal atrophy and dryness, dyspareunia(painful Intercourse), sleep disturbance, and mood swings. Besides these, osteoporosis is the most common disease in menopausal women and is strongly associated with low bone density.
Since oestrogen helps to prevent bones from getting weaker by slowing the natural breakdown of bone, its reduction during menopause significantly speeds up bone loss. Over time, lower estradiol levels can lead to osteoporosis.

How to reduce the risk of osteoporosis during menopause —

It is never too late to be treated for osteoporosis, and in fact, elder women are more likely to respond better to treatment. At the onset of menopause, you can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis by adopting a few lifestyle recommendations, such as:

1: Aim for 1,300 mg of dietary calcium intake every day. A wide range of non-dairy foods also contain calcium, such as calcium-fortified soy or almond drinks, firm tofu, almonds, brazil nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, and fish with edible bones, such as sardines or tinned salmon.

2: Do regular and appropriate weight-bearing physical activity, including resistance training exercises with weights (always do this type of exercise under supervision).

3: Maintain adequate vitamin D levels. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. It is made in the skin following sun exposure and is found in very small amounts in some foods.

4: Avoid excessive alcohol intake.

5: Avoid smoking (smoking cigarettes is associated with a higher risk of developing osteoporosis).

6: Avoid excessive caffeine intake.

These lifestyle habits are best started younger in life to get the most benefit

 

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